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3 Texas Oil Stocks Poised to Gain from Saudi Cuts

The world just lost 5% of its daily oil output, as Saudi Arabi cut production by half in the wake of a drone attack on Saudi Aramco oil fields. The attack was claimed by the Houthi rebels of neighboring Yemen, and is part of an ongoing conflict on the Arabian Peninsula.

In immediate, practical terms, industry analysts expect crude to gain as much as $10 per barrel when trading resumes after the weekend. From Seaport Global, head of energy trading Roberto Friendlander said after the attack that the exact spike in oil prices will depend on how long Saudi production is disrupted: “If it is a few days, the Saudis are working to restore production and will provide more information in the next 48 hours, the impact is more likely to be $3-5…”

As of early Monday, September 16, Brent crude, the key international benchmark, is up $5.82, or 9.66%, in early hours trading. The price spike, which exceeded $11 in the first few seconds of London’s trading, was the largest intraday jump ever recorded in oil trading. The 5.7 million barrel per day drop in output is the worst disruption the oil markets have ever faced.

Of course, every market disruption marks an opportunity for someone. If Saudi oil is off the markets, the supply has to be compensated somewhere, and this where the last few years’ surge in American output is important. Increased production from US oil and gas fields have made the country the world’s top oil producer, and at current trends the US will become a net exporter of oil and gas in 2020.

With this in the background, it’s time again to look at the Texas oil companies. The Permian Basin oil fields of West Texas are richest petroleum producing areas in the United States. We’ve dipped into TipRanks’ database, to find out what Wall Street’s analysts are saying about the energy companies working in the Texas oil fields.

Concho Resources, Inc.

Concho (CXOGet Report) is one of many energy companies that focuses on the Permian Basin. The company’s specific operating areas are in the Delaware Basin, the Permian’s second largest subdivision, and CXO controls over 1.1 billion barrels of proven hydrocarbon reserves.

The stock offers buyers a discount at the moment, as it’s down 24% in the markets following an EPS miss in July’s Q2 earnings report. Despite the miss, both hedge funds and market insiders are picking up this stock. Hedge funds increased holdings in CXO by 1.7 million shares in Q2, while last month, after the earnings report, industry insiders bought over $1.5 million worth of shares in Concho.

Wall Street analysts are also bullish on CXO. From MKM Partners, John Gerdes gives it a $116 price target, indicating confidence in an impressive 57% upside. Jefferies analyst Mark Lear is even more optimistic about Concho. His $127 target implies an upside of 72%.

Overall, CXO has a $118 average price target from the analysts, suggesting an upside of 61% from the share price of $73. The Moderate Buy consensus rating is based on 12 buys, 2 holds, and 1 sell set in the last three months.

Diamondback Energy, Inc.

Diamondback (FANGGet Report) offers investors a firm base of 992 million barrels of proven oil and gas reserves in the Permian Basin. Petroleum makes up 63% of the company’s recoverable assets, while natural gas and natural gas liquids make up the remaining 37%.

Diamondback reported a mixed result in the second quarter. EPS and revenues, at $1.70 and $1.02 billion, were both up year-over-year, but missed the forecasts. Net profit was a robust $349 million, and the company continues to pay out its quarterly dividend of 18.75 cents per share. Looking at long-term trends, FANG shares are up 29% in the last five years.

Writing from Roth Capital, analyst John White, described the Q2 results as “solid,” and added that he was “encouraged as the company lowered the midpoint of 2019 capital expenditure guidance and increased the midpoint of full year 2019 production guide.” His $140 price target suggests an upside of 44%.

Kashy Harrison, of Piper Jaffray, is also bullish on FANG. He raised his price target by a half percent, from $155 to $156, implying an impressive upside potential of 61%.

Diamondback’s analyst consensus rating of Strong Buy reflects a unanimous outlook – of 12 recent reviews, all are buys. Shares sell for $96, and the average price target of $143 gives the stock a 48% potential upside.

Parsley Energy, Inc.

Our third -buy rated Permian producer is Parsley Energy (PEGet Report). One month ago, Parsley beat the Q2 earnings estimates, reporting 32 cents per share against a forecast of 31, and showing revenues of $498.54 million. Both EPS and revenues easily beat the year-ago numbers. After the earnings beat, company management announced a modest 3-cent quarterly dividend would be initiated, payable on September 30 to shareholders of record as of September 20.

The strong quarter has Wall Street analysts bullish on PE. At Merrill Lynch, Asit Sen boosted his price target from $23 to $27, an increase of 17%. The new $27 target suggests an upside of 45% for PE shares.

Neal Dingmann, of SunTrust Robinson, maintained his target of $23, along with this buy rating. In his comments on the stock, he wrote, “We continue to forecast Parsley to growth ˜2%+/qtr and become FCF positive this month while remaining FCF positive in 2020 even if oil prices fall as low as ~$51/bbl. Further, we estimate upcoming incremental shareholder returns as seen with the recent institution of a dividend. We believe the company could pursue spin-offs/equity monetizations/sales of its water infrastructure & minerals holdings that could represent upcoming catalysts for the stock.” Dingmann’s price target implies an upside of 24%.

PE is the lowest cost of the three stocks in this list, with a share price of $18.50. It represents an affordable point of entry to the explosive Texas oil market. The $23.73 average price target gives the stock an upside potential of 28%. Parsley’s Strong Buy consensus rating comes from 9 buys and 2 holds given in the past three months.

Visit TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, and take a look at other top oil stocks.